Ask The Legal Expert: How do I end a Civil Partnership?
- AuthorAngela Killa
Angela Killa, Associate Solicitor from the Family Law team here at JCP, shines a light on the process of dissolving a Civil Partnership.
"My partner and I have been in a Civil Partnership for five years but we have grown apart and have made a joint decision to call it a day. We have no children, but we do have joint savings and own a house together. Although the separation was a joint decision, we have been unable to agree on how to divide our assets. What is the legal process we need to go through?"
Couples who want to bring a Civil Partnership to an end need to apply to the Court for a Dissolution Order. To do this, you must have been married, or in a Civil Partnership, for at least a year, which you have been. You and your civil partner can make an application for dissolution jointly or you can do so yourself. You would need to file a statement with your application confirming that the Civil Partnership has broken down irretrievably. You do not need to (and cannot) apportion blame as was the case before the law changed on the 6th April 2022.
You can make your application via your local Family Court (or online). A conditional Order can be applied for 20 weeks after the court has issued your application, which provides a period of reflection. A Final Order can be applied for six weeks later, which officially ends a Civil Partnership. However, there are often reasons to delay this application so legal advice should be sought in relation to your particular circumstances.
It is unlikely that your partner will be able to contest the application unless there is a dispute about the court’s jurisdiction or the validity of the civil partnership.
As far as the division of any assets, the Court will use the same criteria it would use for any married couple. Since there are no children to take into consideration, the Court will weigh up your incomes, future earning capacity, property, pensions and any other financial assets and decide how those assets should be distributed to best meet the financial needs of you both.
So, the financial obligations and responsibilities of you both, your respective ages, the duration of your partnership, and any illness which is likely to limit earning capacity, will be taken into account, as will the standard of living enjoyed by you both before the relationship breakdown.
The Court will endeavour to reach a fair ruling that doesn't leave one party in need to the benefit of the other. Be aware that the Court expects couples to have taken steps to resolve any issues before they attend, so you will be expected to attempt Mediation before the Court stage and often this can be less traumatic and more economical than attending Court.
Angela is an Associate Solicitor in our Family Team, based at our Carmarthen Office. Angela specialises in all aspects of Family Law including complex children matters, divorce and financial remedies. Angela is a member of Resolution, an organisation for professionals committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes, and is also a member of the Law Society's Children Panel. Angela is a fluent Welsh speaker.
For further advice, please contact our specialist Family Solicitors in:
- Swansea: 01792 773773
- Cardiff: 02920 225472
- Carmarthen: 01267 234022
- Caerphilly: 02920 860628
- Cowbridge: 01446 771742
- Haverfordwest: 01437 764723
- Fishguard: 01348 873671
The question posed is based upon a hypothetical situation.